These cookies don't have to be confined to Chinese meals; they also make wonderful everyday desserts. The batter used to make these fortune cookies is traditional tuile batter, pliable after baking.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet liberally with cooking spray. Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat; set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites and sugar, and beat on medium speed, about 30 seconds. Add flour and salt, and beat until combined. Add butter, heavy cream, and almond extract, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds.
Pour 1 tablespoon of batter onto half of the baking sheet, and spread with the back of a spoon into a thin 5-inch circle; repeat on the other half of the sheet. Bake until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Transfer baking sheet to a heat-resistant surface. Working as quickly as possible, slide a spatula (an offset spatula, available at specialty kitchen shops, works best) under one of the cookies. Lift it up, and place it on a clean kitchen towel. Using your fingers, fold the cookie in half, pinching the top together to form a loose semicircle. Hold the cookie with your index fingers inserted at each open end, and slide your thumbs together along the bottom line. Press into the center of the cookie while bending the 2 open ends together and down to form the shape of a fortune cookie. This whole process should take about 10 seconds. Once the cookie hardens, which begins to happen almost immediately, you cannot fold it. Place the fortune cookie on the kitchen towel to cool, and shape the second cookie. Repeat until all the batter is used up. To speed up the process, bake 4 cookies at a time, staggering 2 cookie sheets by 4 minutes to give you time to shape. To avoid wasting batter, practice folding with a circle of paper first.
Write your message on a long strip of sturdy art paper, such as Japanese moriki. Thread the fortune through the cookie when it has cooled.
Remember, the key to success with these oversize cookies is to shape them quickly.